WORK OPTIONS FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS

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1 WORK OPTIONS FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS David E. Gluckman, Esquire Jonathan L. Moore, Esquire Phone: (804) Phone: (804) McCandlish Holton, PC Website: January 25, 2013

2 VISA CATEGORIES FOR STUDENTS F-1 Foreign students attending academic college or university J-1 Exchange visitor or trainee often used for graduate students, medical residents, etc. Dependent Visas Students whose parents are in the U.S. on a work visa such as H-1B (H-4), L-1 (L -2), E Visa, etc.

3 PRE-GRADUATION WORK (F-1) 1. On-campus employment 2. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Integral part of established curriculum (work/study) 3. Optional Practical Training (OPT) 12 months of OPT for F-1; use during degree program or after graduation 4. Economic Hardship Extreme financial problems caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond student s control 5. Designated International Organizations Certain organizations are permitted to hire F-1 students for work experience (United Nations, IMF, World Bank, etc.) 6. Volunteer Almost never an option

4 POST-GRADUATION EMPLOYMENT Employers like qualities of international students: smart, independent, motivated Employers do not understand visas Students must understand the immigration process, and be able to explain

5 TYPICAL POST-COMPLETION EMPLOYMENT PATH F-1 - Optional Practical Training (12 or 29 months) or J-1 Academic Training (18 or 36 months) then H-1B Most common work visa (6 years of work eligibility)

6 INTRODUCTION TO U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW Permanent Resident Green Cards: Live forever in the United States Ease of employment Ease of travel Only limited ways to obtain / lengthy processing Temporary Nonimmigrant Visas: Many categories (A V) Few allow employment Focus on: F-1 OPT H-1B

7 EMPLOYER CONCERNS Cost Timing Obligations and Responsibilities

8 WORK AFTER GRADUATION Optional Practical Training (F-1) 12 months of OPT post-graduation (reduced by OPT used pregraduation) Allows work for any job related to degree Must get work card (Employment Authorization Document); application fee is $380 Can apply for card up to 90 days before completion of program, or up to 60 days post-completion Must apply within 30 days of OPT authorization from Foreign Student Advisor day processing time No more than 90 days of unemployment permitted Post-graduation OPT not available if one year or more of full-time CPT.

9 OPT EXTENSION 17 months of post-graduation employment AFTER completion of initial 12 months of OPT Must be applied for during 12 months validity of initial OPT F-1 student must be completing initial OPT based on Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) degree Employer F-1 will work for MUST be enrolled in E- Verify No more than 120 days of unemployment, including time during initial 12 months of OPT Employer agrees to notify school within 48 hours of termination

10 E-VERIFY Web based system for verifying work authorization Required for employers seeking 17 month STEM extension Required for companies which have federal contracts or subcontracts For others, it is voluntary

11 TRAVEL ON OPT ANY travel by an F-1 student is risky because you MUST show intent to return to home country If you choose to travel, you will need Endorsed I-20 Valid Visa Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Employment letter Absence of ANY presents additional risk Travel after applying for H-1B is not advised

12 WORK AFTER GRADUATION H-1B Most Common Work Visa Employer must sponsor (offer a job that requires a degree) Applicant must have degree Degree must relate to the job No need to advertise for U.S. workers

13 H-1B ISSUES Duration 3 years initially 3 year extension 6 year maximum Scope of H-1B Authorization Can only work for this employer, doing what was described on the petition in the location described on the petition Change Employer New employer must file new petition But can begin working as soon as new petition is filed without waiting for approval

14 H-1B ISSUES Cost - Who Pays? Legal Fee CIS Filing Fees Base fee - $325 Fraud Prevention Fee - $500 Training Fee - $1500 ($750 for 25 employees or less) Optional Premium Processing Fee (15 days) - $1225 Additional $2000 fee for companies with 50 or more employees, and 50% or more of workforce is H-1B or L.

15 H-1B QUOTAS CIS FISCAL YEAR: October 1 September 30 Quotas: 85,000 H-1Bs available U.S. Advanced Degree Applicants 20,000 All Degrees 65,000 Current availability:?

16 BEAT THE H-1B CAP April 1 May October 1 January 1 April 1 May September 30 October 1 new quota released April 1 pre-filing for new quota May/Dec graduation & OPT

17 Example #1 Student graduates in May H-1B cap numbers are still available upon graduation. Employer files for H-1B, effective October 1, Student works on OPT until September 30, 2013, then H-1B effective October 1

18 Example #2 Student graduates in May No H-1B cap numbers left. Student works on OPT. On April 1, 2014, employer files for H-1B, effective October 1, But student s OPT expires in June What now?

19 H-1B CAP GAP RELIEF If you file an H-1B application on or after April 1, AND OPT is still valid at the time of filing, THEN OPT is extended until September 30

20 H-1B EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS Universities Non-profit organizations affiliated with universities (such as research facilities or hospitals) Non-profit research organizations, engaged primarily in basic or applied research Governmental research organizations

21 H-1B ALTERNATIVES Canada, Mexico, Chile, Singapore, Australia L-1 Manager / Executive / Specialized Knowledge. Work overseas for one year; now working for affiliate in United States E treaty investor/trader (not China, India) working for companies owned by citizens of your country in the United States Re-enroll in full-time study (F-1 or J-1) Other possible options are very limited (O-1, J-1). Consult qualified immigration specialist

22 GREEN CARD Limited Ways to Obtain Family Relationships Lottery Employment/Special Skills EB-1 Extraordinary / Outstanding / Multi-national EB-2 - Advanced Degree / Exceptional EB-3 - Bachelor s Degree / Skilled worker PERM Processing lengthy Must maintain non-immigrant status

23 EXTEND H-1B BEYOND 6 YEARS Normal length of H-1B 6 years Can extend for the following: Recapture time outside the U.S. Green card pending at least 1 year can extend H-1B in 1 year increments Approved I-140, but no quota number to adjust 3 year extension

24 CHOOSING AN ATTORNEY Location - Irrelevant Immigration law is federal, not state specific All H-1B filings are done centrally in California or Vermont Knowledge and Experience Very Relevant Cheaper is NOT better One chance to file

25 RESOURCES Practice Areas: Immigration David E. Gluckman (804) Jonathan L. Moore (804) Helen L. Konrad (804) Mark B. Rhoads (804) Jennifer A. Minear (804)

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